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'Sky's the limit': New Calgary Flames organist wants you to send in your song requests

It's the middle of a Calgary Flames game and Warren Tse is practicing a Taylor Swift song on the organ.

Tse is in his first full season as the Flames' organist, entertaining the crowd between whistles with a mix of classic arena music, top 40 pop hits and everything in between.

He gets dozens of song requests during any given game, quickly learns them if he needs to, then plays them to more than 19,000 fans at the 'Dome.

"It really boosts the energy of the crowd in a way that just playing tracks and recordings can't possibly do," said Tse.

Tse isn't a stranger to entertaining hockey crowds with his talents. He's played the organ at Calgary Hitmen games for about 15 years, occasionally filling in for the NHL team over the years.

He made the permanent jump to the big club this season after long-time Flames organist Willy Joosen passed away in July. Joosen was the one who first recruited Tse a decade-and-a-half earlier.

"I was friends with Willy – we knew each other through music – and one day he just called me up and said, 'Hey, Warren, wanna do some hockey organ?' and I said, 'I've never done anything like that in my life, but sure!'"

Joosen had been pumping up the crowd at Flames games since 1989, the year the team won the Stanley Cup.

"(Willy's) irreplaceable and Warren will tell you that himself, so in finding a new organist, when we lost Willy, we never really considered not having a live organist," said Steve Edgar, the manager of game presentation for the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.

"We think (a live organist is) an integral part of our show. It allows us to adapt to the game, come up with new ways to entertain our fans and Warren is such a skilled musician and performer, it's just worked out brilliantly," Edgar said.


One of the new ways of entertainment was bringing in song requests for Tse, an idea he came up with and pitched to the Flames' game presentation team.

"They just said, 'Yeah, let's give it a shot.' We can engage with the audience a little bit more this way and... the sky's the limit. It expands my catalogue to whatever any fan out there can imagine," Tse said.

He tries to play different music every game, but he says there's two tracks that always seem to get the crowd to react: Dr. Dre's 'Still Dre' and 'The Chicken Dance.'

"For some reason, the second people hear the Chicken Dance, they just start doing the motions and the clapping," Tse said with a laugh.

Tse now sits and plays in 'The Joos Box', an area fondly named after the quirky Joosen.

"I feel very welcomed and I'm just trying to carry on the legacy of my mentor and my friend Willy," said Tse.

You can send in a song request to Tse by tweeting at him at @FlamesOrganist. Chances are, he'll know how to play the song you've sent in, or he'll spend a few minutes learning mid-game before serenading the Saddledome crowd. Top Stories

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